Do you wear your NBA fandom on your back? If so, a little-known benefit can help you rebound when your favorite player switches teams — and if you’re also an American Express cardholder, the offer gets better.
It’s called Jersey Assurance, and the baseline version of the perk is offered through the online NBA Store. If you buy an NBA player's team jersey through the store, and that player ends up changing teams by trade or free agency signing within 90 days of your purchase, you can get a free replacement jersey.
If you use an American Express card for the purchase, the protection extends for nearly a year.
Terms apply, though, so let’s look at the Xs and Os.
Which stores offer Jersey Assurance?
As noted, you get the 90-day coverage when you buy at the NBA Store, no matter how you make the purchase.
You get almost a year's worth of coverage if you use an American Express card at the NBA Store, or via Fanatics.com, or at the physical NBA Flagship Store in New York City.
Which AmEx cards offer expanded Jersey Assurance?
All consumer and business cards offer the perk, the issuer confirms.
What can I get as a replacement?
You can choose either of the following:
The new team jersey of the player who moved.
A jersey for a different member of the team that your player left.
The replacement will be free, as long as the retail price is the same or less than what you paid for the original jersey. (Upgrades are possible; more on that later.)
Is coverage a slam-dunk?
Not necessarily. Here are some rules and requirements that could block your shot:
You have to file a claim: You must do so within 14 days of the announcement of the player’s trade or free agency signing. The claim form is here.
The trade or free agency signing must be announced by the team or the NBA: Eligibility will be based on transactions appearing at this link. No, trade rumors on Twitter don't count.
Just because your player is off the team doesn’t mean you automatically qualify: Trades or free agency signings qualify for coverage. But if a player retires or gets cut, waived, suspended or injured, the protection doesn't apply.
Player name changes don’t count: Think Ron Artest becoming Metta World Peace in 2011. It also won’t count if the player’s number or role with the team changes.
Jersey design changes don’t qualify either: If you make your purchase and the team then proceeds to get a new logo, design or even a new city name printed on its jerseys, you’re stuck with the old version.
What happens to my old jersey?
You’ll have to box up and mail your original jersey back to Jersey Assurance customer service. You’ll get a prepaid return label once you file your claim at the link above. There is no shipping cost for the replacement jersey.
Can I upgrade my jersey?
In instances of trades or free agency signings, yes, you can upgrade — for a fee. NBA jerseys are available in a variety of styles, from basic replicas all the way up to "authentic" versions identical to those worn by players in games. Just note during the claims process that you’d like to upgrade to a more expensive model, and you’ll pay the difference between your original jersey and the new one.